Subcontractor Makes Picture Perfect Parts
MK Precision Engineering Ltd | Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Previously working as an engineer in the F1 industry, it was the unsociable and unpredictable working routines that led Allan Carabine to set up his own machine shop in 2011. Working in the F1 sector taught the new business owner two valuable lessons; the first was to start with a 5-axis machining centre and the second was to implement leading CAM software to drive the machine.
For the Milton Keynes Company, this marked the arrival of a Hurco 5-axis VM10U and hyperMILL® CAM software from OPEN MIND Technologies as the company’s very first acquisitions.
Commenting upon this selection that was to base the foundation of the company, Mr Carabine says: “Everyone can do 3-axis work, so when I started; I wanted to start with a 5-axis machine. The next thing I had to get was hyperMILL® CAM software. I have worked for F1 teams as well as some of the most prestigious subcontractors in the F1 supply chain, all previous employers in the industry used hyperMILL® as it is the only viable package for companies serious about 5-axis machining. I bought hyperMILL® on day one of starting the business! OPEN MIND confirmed the postprocessors were compatible with the VM10U and from that point, the CNC controller became irrelevant as everything is modelled and programmed in hyperMILL®.”
“hyperMILL® has reduced tooling consumption by almost 80% and slashed cycle times by over 50%.”
Allan Carabine, Managing Director MK Precision
hyperMILL® – not just a powerful 5-axis CAM package
MK Precision has a number of components that are turned parts that often require second operation machining on one of the company’s 5-axis Hurco machines. Referring to this, Mr Carabine says: “hyperMILL® accommodates all our turning requirements and the multi-axis shape-offset module has the ability to trim tool paths automatically to in-process stock, thereby saving manual tool edit procedures. This utility covers stock model generation where we can easily transfer the stock model to our 3 or 5-axis machines. This feature streamlines the transfer of parts from one machine to another whilst saving considerable programming times. It also reduces the machining times as it intuitively recognises what stock has already been removed.”
In addition to the powerful hyperMILL® CAM package, MK Precision is making good use of hyperCAD®-S. Commenting on this, Mr Carabine concludes: “Whilst hyperMILL® enables us to model and program parts extremely quickly, some customers, particularly in the rail industry only supply physical 2D drawings and not common electronic formats such as STEP, IGES, DXF and STL files. Using hyperCAD®-S, we can quickly generate component models from 2D drawings and these are rapidly expedited to create CAM programs. Additionally, we can accept customers’ electronic files, drop them into hyperCAD®-S, manipulate and edit the files where necessary and then generate part programs. Overall, hyperMILL® has delivered huge savings in programming times, shop floor production, tool life and it has also streamlined our processes to improve lead-times. I don’t know how our business would survive without hyperMILL®!”